Now that I've gotten our inland travel itinerary all set, I'm anxious to take off and doing chores seems pretty dull. I have visions of all the wonderful animals we'll see and the cultural centers and museums we'll visit and the food we'll try and … My mind wanders constantly to what I will be doing versus what I am doing or should be doing. Nevertheless, the deal is we have to complete some specific chores before leaving on our land tour. My to-do list is always shorter than David's (praise the Lord!), but it always seems to take me about as much time to complete mine as it does for him. The wool-gathering and mind-wandering take their toll on my productivity, I guess. I began my chores in earnest the other day tackling the cleaning of the starboard water tank. It had some unwanted particles floating around in it and it was overdue for a cleaning. We filter the water between the tank and the faucet, but still the tank needed to be emptied out and wiped clean and dry with a cloth. The water pump had done its job to empty the tank as much as it could and I foot-pumped as much more out as possible. The water tank is located under the drawers in the forward bunk which had to be removed before getting to work. I removed the inspection hatch (8 bolts) before I lay belly down on the floor and scrunched myself into the opening. It isn't hard work; it's just awkward and tedious. I used a sponge to get out the rest of the water and then clean cloths to wipe and dry out the inside of the tank. A dowel came in handy when I couldn't reach the far corners. It only took a couple of hours, but it was something to tick off my list.
Next, I tackled the Nine of Cups nameboards. One had been damaged at some point and needed to be totally stripped. This posed a problem when I determined that the heat gun which usually removes old varnish had no effect on the Uroxsys urethane we had used on the nameboards last. Uh, oh! I ended up scraping off as much as I could during the course of an entire day, then David took over hand sanding the rest later on. What a slow, messy process. To make matters worse, the nameboards were not on the original to-do list. David added them because he was refinishing another piece for the base of the replacement cockpit clutches, and since the nameboards needed to be done, why not include them? It was a joint effort, but we finally got them prepped. Gilding to follow.
Sewing projects were mounting up and I had put them off as long as possible. Nothing's ever easy on a boat. Since we don't have shore power, David had to lug out our little gas generator, so I could use the sewing machine. UV plays havoc with fabric that's exposed, especially the stitching. I use a good UV-resistant thread when I'm sewing, but even so, after awhile, the stitching breaks down and needs to be re-sewn. Case in point: the mainsail cover … again. It's big and bulky and stitching it down below is always a wrestling match, but necessary to protect the mainsail. Our homemade canvas bucket was also suffering from sun exposure and needed a little restitching. David mentioned he'd like some new ditty bags for holding various parts and tools. I cut up the old bimini and salvaged chunks of useable Sunbrella fabric which provided ample material for the half dozen new bags he'd ordered. I handled more mundane hand-sewing projects like replacing missing buttons off various shirts and pants. All in all, a full day of patching, re-stitching and sewing. I didn't get it all done, however, there's some patching to be done on fender covers, but they can wait for the next sewing session.
We're making progress on the chores and it appears we'll finish most by the time we're ready to leave on our trip. Truth be told, I think the captain is just as anxious to begin our inland adventure as I am.